Crowdsourcing My Next Book Cover

This post is just to ask a favour of my readers, if any of you can help. I’m currently finishing up the first draft of volume 1 of my three-volume look at the Beach Boys’ music, which I plan to send out to my beta readers this weekend and have published hopefully within a few weeks. However, I don’t as yet have a cover for it.
I got lucky with the Beatles book – I found a good photo of the band that had fallen into the public domain (and for Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! I had a wealth of images to choose from, thanks to NASA putting all their work into the public domain. Thanks NASA!)

However, the only public domain images of the Beach Boys I’ve been able to find are some rather poor photos of them on stage with Ronald and Nancy Reagan – not quite what I have in mind for the book.

I wouldn’t mind paying to license a photo, theoretically, but I don’t have the money – if my books keep selling at current rates, it’ll take about two years for each of them to have earned me minimum wage for the time spent writing them.

And I have to be legally watertight here. The Beach Boys are possibly the most litigious group of people in the world – you know the bit at the end of The Rutles, where Stig accidentally sued himself? I can think of at least two occasions where that *did* happen with the Beach Boys.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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2 Responses to Crowdsourcing My Next Book Cover

  1. Wesley says:

    Could the cover be a concept instead of a direct illustration? Something that would represent or symbolize the Beach Boys, or something about their music, without actually depicting them? I can’t find any Beach Boys-related examples right offhand, but here’s a book about the Beatles with a text-only cover that calls to mind the White Album. One equivalent design for a Beach Boys book would be a green cover with the title and author in yellow-and-white Cooper Black.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Now *that’s* a really good idea. I just need to think how I can do that for the first one and yet have something consistent for the second and third books.

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